BRIAN COX’S RUSSIA, BBC2, 9pm

IT’S been 100 years since the Russian Revolution, which largely cut the country off from the outside world. But DNA evidence shows many Russians have Scots ancestry, so who were these Scots who managed to make their way into this vast, mysterious country?

Brian Cox tells the stories of various Scots who have played a part in Russian history.

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In the Kremlin, he declares the St Andrews Hall, where the Tsars were crowned, “gobsmackingly beautiful!”, and points out the tiny saltires carved into the ceiling.

We hear of Patrick Gordon, from Aberdeen, the highest-ranking general in the Russian Army in the 1690s. His memory is kept alive by re-enactors armed with muskets.

Cox also meets a Russian woman clad in tartan who greets him in Gaelic, and we learn of Fitzroy Mclean, a Scots spy who may have been the inspiration for James Bond.

BILLY CONNOLLY AND ME: A CELEBRATION, STV, 9pm

IF only someone had laughed at Hitler, says the Big Yin. Laughter is so powerful that if just one person had snorted while Adolf was his ranting and raving, the course of history might have changed.

Despite his age and illness, Billy Connolly is still laughing. This show celebrates the comedian by offering us a big messy mix of interviews, clips from his stand-up and chat show appearances, and favourite memories of fans from all over the world, from East Kilbride to Qatar.

We hear from celebrity fans such as Eric Idle, Judi Dench, Andy Murray, Elton John and Peter Kay, but while these jolly messages are nice, the best moments come when it’s just Connolly.

He is also interviewed, and he recalls how it was impossible to walk down the street in Glasgow without everyone saying hello ... and his wee girl marvelling at how daddy knew everybody!